The model of society in Lewis Grassic Gibbon's writings

Figueroa, Ricardo Armando (1984) The model of society in Lewis Grassic Gibbon's writings. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The present research concerns itself with the underlying social
content detected in the romance literature of James Leslie
Mitchell/Lewis Grassic Gibbon (JLM/LGG), which applied to all his
writings gives as a result a second meaning in his texts, that turns
out to be his essential meaning.
Two short stories, He Who Seeks, HWS and For Ten's Sake FTS were
selected as objects of analysis. However, at least two romance novels
are also analyzed even if partially only. The nature of the method
employed determined that any other work by JLM/LGG, even if realistic
in style, could be brought into focus at any time since all his works
are mutually related both in content and imagery romance and
realistic alike so that eventually, practially all his literary
production came to play a more or less active role in the research.
But the trilogy A Scots Quair, ASQ was excepted as a rule.
Apart from the General Introduction in which are to be found the
explanations concerning the nature of the problem that motivated this
research, the objective pursued, the method used, etc. and the
theoretical premises that contribute to its orientation, the present
work is divided into three parts. Part One deals with the Model. It consists of seven chapters:
whereof the first five explain the five respective phases of The Model
of Society in the Writings of JLM/LGG. Chapter 6 has been conceived
as a suitable illustration of the model, since it contains a partial
analysis of FTS as its paradigm; as in a nutshell it suggests the
whole outlook of contemporary culture, its stage, its trends, the
controversies, challenges, the ideological camps, etc. and the
author's own system. Chapter 7 is an attempt at explicating his
This is in fact the work which led us to the essential
Part Two deals with the author's cultural approach, which includes
both his own credo as a writer and his assessment of culture as a historical phenomenon, according to our analysis of HWS and our brief
studies on his humanist tradition respectively. Chapter 8 is devoted
to the analysis of HWS, a tale based on the Grail legend conventions
which the author applies to contemporary social questions in order to
bring forth both his critique of modern culture and his plea in favour
of world peace. It also highlights his conception of freedom,
equality, and fraternity. Chapter 9 seeks to throw light on the
intellectual concerns of the author and his debt to the humanist
tradition in thought on the one hand, and to the same tradition in
literature and art on the other. His debt to French socialism, to the
German philosophy and the scientific tradition in natural science.
His debt to romantic, anarchist and socialist writers. Here many
familiar names turn up: from Campanella and More to Engels and Marx,
from Columbus to Rousseau, from Morris and Shelley to H.G. Wells, from
Shakespeare and Dickens to Tolstoy, etc.
Part Three deals with the ideological question. It consists of
seven chapters, each one devoted to some specific issue highlighted in
the model. Since the author perceives them as part of an ideological
battle, the subdivision "Protagonists" includes the relevant humanist
trends that the author rallies round his cause, whereas the
"Antagonists" includes trends which the author assesses as opposite to
those of humanism. Chapter 10 is devoted to highlighting the humanism that the author
seems to have derived from Rousseau as his main source: his views on
the respectability of the human race, on the origin of social
inequality, on Man I s perfectibility, etc. Chapter 11 explains the
real interest of the author in Diffusionism and why he incorporated it
into his model. The importance he saw in the mechanisms of the
diffusion of culture, and the merits of the English School of
Anthropology of G.E. Smith, Perry, and Rivers. Chapter 12 analyzes
the influence Haecke1 had on JLM/LGG. This provides scientific
support for most of his conceptions, especially those connected with
nature as a whole and of the inner connection and interdependence of
all phenomena, and why as a monist he combats dualistic thought.
Chapter 13 takes a look at the influence that Kropotkin had on JLM/LGG, especially in relation to some specific humanistic views,
apart from his subsequent anarchistic idea that his model pursues as
ultimate target. This in turn explains his political strategy to the
future. Chapter 14 is devoted to analyzing Bebel's influence in
relation to the feminine question in History. It explains why some
authors have detected a certain "feminine personality" in JLM.
The two antagonists are Spengler and Nietzsche who represent the
pessimistic, elitist, bellicist, nihilist, etc. trends which the
author sees as arising from the perceptions of an upper class social
consciousness on the one hand, and from the neo-Darwinian notions on
the other.
Finally, the work closes with some concluding statements, which,
generally, assess the model as conveying a clear social content. The
latter arises from a materialist analysis of the culture to his time,
and an extrapolation of its probable outcome and destination in its
movement towards the distant future and the distant stars in the

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Fowler, Mrs. Bridget
Date of Award: 1984
Depositing User: Ms Mary Anne Meyering
Unique ID: glathesis:1984-6633
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2015 11:13
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 11:14

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